Welcome Back to September

Over the past two weeks, only one team in all of I-A played a I-AA team: Clemson, who defeated Coastal Carolina last week. That is as it should be. If a school must schedule non-conference cruft for team building and money generating purposes, they should get it out of the way early in the season. Get your tune ups and fundraisers done in September so that late in the season we can have good games.

If only that was how schools actually operated.

Ever since the expansion to a 12 game season, teams have scheduled more I-AA teams (and bad I-A teams too) than ever, only occasionally taking the opportunity to use the twelfth game to set up a meaningful game. They also have begun scheduling cupcakes in November to get the functional equivalent of a second bye week late in the season due to the rigors of playing the extra game. Hence, we get weekends like this one where five SEC teams are playing clunkers: Georgia is playing Tennessee Tech, Kentucky has Eastern Kentucky, Auburn is hosting Furman, Tennessee is taking on Memphis, and Ole Miss is playing its second I-AA team this year in Northern Arizona.

It's not like all those who are playing conference games in two days are off the hook though. The only SEC teams that decline to schedule a scrimmage game from Halloween on are Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina. Alabama has UT-Chattanooga and Florida has FIU on the 21st. Arkansas had Eastern Michigan last week and Troy next week. LSU had Tulane and has Louisiana Tech on those same days.

The money required to compete in college football is skyrocketing, and nowhere is that more evident than in this conference with all the astronomical coaching salaries. Body bag games pay the bills. It would just be nice if everyone took out the trash by mid-October so we don't have weekends like this one down the stretch where half of the conference is playing a cash grab game.

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